Anatomy of a perfect sunset

The sunset yesterday evening (Saturday, Sept. 27th) at Lake Wawasee, Indiana had to be one of the most spectacular ever seen here at the lake or anywhere else for that matter. Below is a progressive series of ten photos I took of it from the dock. Enjoy!












“I’d like a vowel” – city names with the largest percentage of vowels



Below is my list of city names containing the largest percentage of vowels based on the English alphabet. Ocoee, Florida in suburban Orlando leads the pack with 80 percent vowels.

Those city names that are notably longer (a minimum of eight letters) with larger percentages of vowels are also identified, with the longest being Cape Girardeau, Missouri with 13 letters, seven of which are vowels and Kaunakakai, Hawaii with a total of ten letters, six of which are vowels. Please feel free to send along others that I may have missed.

  • Ocoee, FL, USA = 80% vowels


  • Apia, Samoa = 75% vowels
  • Erie, PA and CO, USA = 75% vowels
  • Iasi, Romania = 75% vowels
  • La’ie, HI, USA = 75% vowels
  • Ojai, CA, USA = 75% vowels
  • Oulu, Finland = 75% vowels
  • Umea, Sweden = 75% vowels


  • Oraodea, Romania = 71.4% vowels
  • Ushuaia, Argentina = 71.4% vowels in eight letters
  • Waianae, HI, USA = 71.4% vowels
  • Waialua, HI, USA = 71.4% vowels


  • Ada, MI and OK, USA = 66.7% vowels
  • Aurora, CO , USA = 66.7% vowels
  • Aurora, IL, USA = 66.7% vowels
  • Avarua, Cook Islands = 66.7% vowels
  • Douala, Cameroon = 66.7% vowels
  • Eau Claire, WI, USA = 66.7% vowels in nine letters
  • Eureka, CA, USA = 66.7% vowels
  • Gao, Mali = 66.7% vowels
  • Haikou, China = 66.7% vowels
  • Hauula, HI, USA = 66.7% vowels
  • Juneau, AK, USA = 66.7% vowels
  • Kalaoa, HI, USA = 66.7% vowels
  • Oceano, CA, USA = 66.7% vowels
  • Odo, Nigeria = 66.7% vowels
  • Ojo, Nigeria = 66.7% vowels
  • Oviedo, FL, USA = 66.7% vowels
  • Taipei, Taiwan = 66.7% vowels
  • Ufa, Russia = 66.7% vowels
  • Wausau, WI, USA = 66.7% vowels


  • Abeokuta, Nigeria = 62.5% vowels
  • Adelaide, Australia = 62.5% vowels
  • Gatineau, QC, Canada = 62.5% vowels
  • Toulouse, France – 62.5% vowels


  • Abuja, Nigeria = 60% vowels
  • Beira, Mozambique = 60% vowels
  • Boise, ID, USA = 60% vowels
  • Bouar, Central African Republic = 60% vowels
  • Cocoa, FL, USA = 60% vowels
  • Enugu, Nigeria = 60% vowels
  • Hanoi, Vietnam = 60% vowels
  • Kaedi, Mauritania = 60% vowels
  • Kapaa, HI, USA = 60% vowels
  • Kaunakakai, HI, USA = 60% vowels in 10 letters
  • Kihei, HI, USA = 60% vowels
  • Lousavaara, Sweden = 60% vowels in 10 letters (Thank you Gosta)
  • Luena, Angola = 60% vowels
  • Macao, China = 60% vowels
  • Miami, FL, USA = 60% vowels
  • Orono, ME, USA = 60% vowels
  • Osaka, Japan = 60% vowels
  • Quito, Ecuador = 60% vowels
  • Saana, Yemen = 60% vowels
  • Zaria, Nigeria = 60% vowels


  • Kiirunavaara, Sweden = 58.3% vowels (Thank you, Gosta)
  • Riviere du Loup, QC, Canada = 58.3% vowels


  • Caribou, ME, USA = 57.1% vowels
  • Honiara, Solomon Islands = 57.1% vowels
  • Iquitos, Peru = 57.1% vowels
  • Kahului, HI, USA = 57.1% vowels
  • Kalaheo, HI, USA = 57.1% vowels
  • Lahaina, HI, USA = 57.1% vowels
  • Makawao, HI, USA = 57.1% vowels
  • Managua, Nicaragua = 57.1% vowels
  • Nairobi, Kenya = 57.1% vowels
  • Nanaimo, BC, Canada = 57.1% vowels
  • Papeete, Tahiti = 57.1% vowels
  • Wahiawa, HI, USA = 57.1% vowels
  • Wailuku, HI. USA = 57.1% vowels
  • Waipahu, HI, USA = 57.1% vowels
  • Yaounde, Cameroon = 57.% vowels
  • Yucaipa, CA, USA = 57.1% vowels


  • Chihuahua, Mexico = 55.5% vowels
  • Guayaquil, Ecuador = 55.5% vowels
  • Jonquiere, QC, Canada = 55.5% vowels
  • Milwaukee, WI, USA = 55.5% vowels
  • Milwaukie, OR, USA = 55.5% vowels
  • Zilwaukee, MI, USA = 55.5% vowels


  • Cape Girardeau, MO, USA = 53.8% vowels in 13 letters

Regal and royal city names



Here’s my list of communities that include forms of royalty in their name. Please feel free to send along additions that I may have missed. Enjoy!

  • Annapolis Royal, NS, Canada
  • Front Royal, VA, USA
  • King City, CA, USA
  • King Cove, AK, USA (Thank you, Jean)
  • King George, VA, USA
  • King of Prussia, PA, USA
  • Kings Beach, CA, USA
  • Kingsburg, CA, USA
  • Kingsford, MI, USA
  • Kingsland, GA and AR, USA
  • Kingman, AZ, USA (Thank you, Jean)
  • King Salmon, AK, USA (Thank you, Jean)
  • Kings Point, NY and FL, USA
  • Kingsport, TN, USA
  • Kingston, Jamaica; ON, Canada; and NY, USA
  • Kingston Springs, TN, USA
  • Kingston-upon-Hull, UK
  • Kingstown, MD and NC, USA
  • Kingstree, SC, USA
  • Kingsville, TX, USA
  • King William, VA, USA
  • Kingwood, TX, USA
  • Los Reyes, Mexico
  • Marina del Rey, CA, USA
  • Montreal (Mount Royal), QC, Canada
  • North Royalton, OH, USA
  • Point Reyes Station, CA, USA
  • Port Royal, SC, USA
  • Prince Albert, SK, Canada
  • Prince Alfred, South Africa
  • Prince Frederick, MD, USA
  • Prince George, BC, Canada
  • Prince Rupert, BC, Canada
  • Princes Lake, IN, USA
  • Princeton, NJ, IL, IN and others USA, and BC, Canada
  • Princeville, IL, USA
  • Queen City, TX, USA
  • Queen Creek, AZ, USA
  • Real, Spain
  • Real de Gandia, Spain
  • Royal Palm Beach, FL, USA
  • Royal Center, IN, USA
  • Royal City, WA, USA
  • Royal Leamington Spa, UK (thank you, Brian)
  • Royal Oak, MI, USA
  • Royal Pines, NC, USA
  • Royalton, Il and PA, USA
  • Tsar Kaloyan, Bulgaria
  • View Royal, BC, Canada


Groot: A loveable and sentimental sentient



If you have not seen the movie Guardians of the Galaxy, please do. It is a fun and adventuresome cinematic treat for all ages.  Among the cast of very likeable heroes is Groot, a walking sentient tree a la the Ents of the Lord of the Rings trilogy.  Groot is not your average walking tree character, he is a funny, soft-spoken, thoughtful, kind and generous being who frankly steals the show despite his limited vocabulary.

Without giving away too much of the storyline, in one scene Groot offers up a small flower to a child who is among those escaping from the film’s villains, while in another scene he saunters up to a prison control center and removes a needed object while his buddy Rocket is still in the midst of describing their impending escape plan. Needless to say, Groot initiates the plan well before anyone else is even close to being ready to act upon it.

Why can’t we all be more like Groot? He is willing to take chances. He shows empathy and emotion. He cares for and protects his friends in times of need. He is soft-spoken and not only carries a big stick, but literally is one that come to life! Groot is one of those wonderfully endearing fictional characters that not only appears in a movie, but comes to epitomize the entire film. I, for one cannot wait to see the next installment. Kudos to the film makers, writers, and to Vin Diesel for an excellent job in bringing Groot to life before our eyes.

Art and architecture along The Peg’s riverfront trail

Originally posted on Bicycle Trax:


While on a three-hour layover in The Peg (Winnipeg, Manitoba) during our trans-continental train trip across Canada, Kathy and I decided to take in some of the sights of this dynamic city on the prairie. One of our favorite activities was walking the North Winnipeg Parkway – a paved non-motorized trail in the heart of the city.

We walked from the city’s Chinatown district on the north end of the downtown core to the riverbank parkway along the western shore of Red River and then southward to The Forks National Historic Site. As the photos below aptly depict, Winnipeg has outstanding art and architecture displayed along this trail.

Easily our favorite architectural feature was the immensely inspiring Canadian Museum of Human Rights which is scheduled to have its gala opening ceremonies today and tomorrow (September 19th/20th).  This amazing and iconic structure could do for Winnipeg what the Gateway Arch did for St. Louis. In terms of…

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Five Chinatown Gates in eleven days

Here are photographs taken of Chinatown Friendship Gates in Toronto, Winnipeg, Vancouver, and Victoria, Canada; as well as Seattle Washington during our recent train trip across Canada and the Pacific Northwest. In Winnipeg, there is an especially lovely Chinese Garden situated next to the gate (see photo below)

I hope you enjoy these beautiful works of art and architecture as much as we did.

Toronto, Ontario

Toronto, Ontario

Winnipeg, Manitoba

Winnipeg, Manitoba

Chinese Garden in Winnipeg

Chinese Garden in Winnipeg

Vancouver, British Columbia

Vancouver, British Columbia

Victoria, British Columbia

Victoria, British Columbia

Seattle, Washington, USA

Seattle, Washington, USA

Saying goodbye to a beloved family pet

IMG_0374“Puppy, puppy, puppy.” That’s the call we heard from the Jack Russell Terrier breeder in Belleville, Michigan as we were first introduced to her litter of puppies in the fall of 1996. In response to the call, out from the barn came bounding a delightful litter of darling Jack Russell Terrier puppies who had been born back on August 21st. You could have sworn it was a scene out of 101 Dalmatians.

Among these tumbling, bumbling, rolling, polling bundle of energy, was a sweet, four-spotted (on her back) female that all of us fell in love with instantly. A few days later, Kellie was ours and we begin and nearly 18 year love affair with this fun-loving, hilarious, and goofy dog.

As a Jack Russell Terrier, she was full of endless energy, which worked well for a household with three boys. Most memorable were her welcomes home, as she would tear through the entire house in excitement, up and down the stairs, from one room to another, around and around like a wound-up toy gone wild. It was simply hilarious to watch. Even in her senior years, she still showed snippets of such enthusiasm, though more running around the first floor and kitchen than the entire house.


Other joyous memories include Kellie:

  • Chasing a soccer ball as a puppy with the boys in the back yard – it was much larger than her;
  • Sitting up on her bum and begging for food by moving her front paws up and down (see first photo at top of the post);
  • Barking at the waves on the lake;
  • Occasionally taking a dip in the lake;
  • Lying in sunbeams where ever they were around the house – I used to call her “beamer dog;”
  • Snuggling up next to you or on your chest while taking a nap;
  • Chasing flickers of light on the kitchen floor;
  • Licking the hardwood floors – I have no idea why;
  • Always insisting on riding in the front seat of the car;
  • Nearly catching a squirrel who was raiding our bird feeder;
  • Actually knowing which birds we didn’t like at the feeder (house sparrows, starlings, and crows) and barking at only them;
  • De-fuzzing tennis balls bit by bit;
  • Chasing balls across the house and then trying to slide to a stop on the wood floor; and
  • Many, many more.

I will always treasure each and every moment that Kellie was a part of our lives. She was the sweetest pet anyone could ever hope for and personified goodness. Rest in peace, dear Kellie – I love you!